Birds of Cape Ann: The Majestic Mute Swan

Mute Swan taking flight -2 ©Kim Smith 2014The extraordinarily powerful wings and torso of the Mute Swan ~ click to view larger

The above photo is a lucky capture as I was actually filming the Gadwalls behind the swan. When the swan began to lift out of the water I quickly turned my attention toward it. The first two photos are the same; the first is cropped, the second uncropped so that you can see the tremendous scale of the swan’s body and wings in relation to its environment. The Mute Swan is the second heaviest waterfowl, second only to the Trumpeter Swan. In observing swans, I marvel in nature that a creature this heavy can soar majestically through the clouds and swim so gracefully through water.

Mute Swan taking flight ©Kim Smith 2014

Mute swans feed primarily on submerged and emergent aquatic vegetation and a small percentage of their diet also includes frogs, small fish, and insects. Because swans feed in deep water they do not compete with smaller waterfowl such as ducks. It is thought that food is made more readily available to ducks because the swans do not eat all the food they pull up. This seems logical and factual from my own observations at our local ponds and marshes. I very often see a wide range of waterfowl congenially feeding with the Mute Swans.

Swan food winter ©Kim Smith 2014Mute Swan feeding on submerged vegetation at Niles Pond

Note ~ Mute swans, which are a nonnative species, do compete directly for food with North American native Trumpeter Swans, in regions where Trumpeter Swans are indigenous (Trumpeter Swans are not native to Cape Ann).

For more photos, information, and video see previous GMG posts about the Mute Swan:

Where Do Swans Go in Winter?

Vibrant Throbbing Wingbeats

Niles Pond or Brace Cove

*   *   *

Birds of Cape Ann: Divers or Dabblers and the Green-winged Teal

Birds of Cape Ann: Buffleheads

Rockport Reader Submits Coyote Photo

Thank you so much Sandra for sending your photo.

Note to readers interested in submitting a locally spotted coyote: Please don’t be concerned about the quality of the image. I think it is very helpful to collect documentation while we are learning as a community how to address the growing coyote problem. Please provide location and time of day.

Send photos to: Thank you!

photo0440_001 2

Hi Kim,

Saw your coyote post on Good Morning Gloucester, with note to send photos.

We woke one morning early in December to see this coyote not 50 feet away,under our neighbors’ apple tree, having breakfast!  South St., Rockport.  We are newcomers to the area, had heard about and heard coyotes at night, but this was something we did not expect to see during the day. Not the greatest picture, but at least documented!  

To Warm Your Heart, on a Wet and Windy Winter’s Day

A month ago, I hosted the Good Morning Gloucester Holiday Party. This is mother and daughter Pat and Felicia Ciaramitaro, holding coordinated Christmas wine glasses they brought just for for the event. I've made friends and met many that I'd never know otherwise since my involvement with GMG. Next event: Valentine's Day.
A month ago, I hosted the Good Morning Gloucester Holiday Party. This is mother and daughter Pat and Felicia Ciaramitaro, holding coordinated Christmas wine glasses they brought just for for the event. I’ve made friends and met many that I’d never know otherwise since my involvement with GMG. Next event: Valentine’s Day.

Chickity Check It! Living With Coyotes/Coywolves | Eastern Coyote/Coywolf Research

I think one of the really good suggestions from the article linked above is to carry a whistle if you’re going for a walk.

I’d just like some public officials to stand up acknowledge the trend and maybe tell us what the plans are to educate people or how they are talking to The Mass Environmental Police or other wildlife groups about monitoring the explosive growth in Coyote populations around here.

Here’s a couple of articles from The Gloucester Daily Times all within the past few months with the latest being just two days ago.

We never had reports like this 8 years ago. To stick our heads in the sand and not publicly educate people when these incidents are piling up is just plain bananas to me.

Woodman’s of Essex, where the fried clam was invented, celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2014.

Woodman’s of Essex Celebrates its 100-Year Anniversary

Woodman’s of Essex, where the fried clam was invented, celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2014.

Originally a roadside grocery stand started by Lawrence “Chubby” and Bessie Woodman, the restaurant has been serving traditional New England seafood to five generations of fans, both local and from around the world. As the restaurant enters its second century, its popularity shows no signs of waning.

An inductee into the Massachusetts Restaurant Association Hall of Fame, Woodman’s has been honored by Forbes, FYI as “Best Seafood in America,” listed in Patricia Schultz’s “1,000 Places to See Before You Die,” and been awarded the Massachusetts Premier Tourism Attraction “Legend” Award from the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism. Woodman’s expanded offerings include private clambakes, event catering, weddings on the picturesque Essex Marsh, and fulfilling lobster and Fried Clam Kit orders all over the United States.

“Woodman’s is a New England institution,” says Stephen Woodman, co-CEO and third-generation manager of Woodman’s. “It’s been family-owned and operated since Woodrow Wilson was president and Babe Ruth pitched for the Red Sox. We’ve been able to maintain the commitment to the product and our customers in keeping with the tradition started 100 years ago. As a family and a company, we’re proud to be celebrating this amazing milestone.”

In addition to third-, fourth-, and fifth-generation Woodman family members being part of the team, Woodman’s is staffed by approximately 80 year-round and 200 seasonal employees. At least 25 of their employees have worked there for more than 30 years.

“When it’s all said and done, Woodman’s is about the people,” Stephen continues. “Our amazing staff and our fanatically loyal customers. We never could have made it to one hundred years without them. We look forward to bringing families together year after year, and another hundred years of happy memories.”

Woodman’s of Essex is located at 119 Main Street in Essex, Massachusetts. Visit to learn more.

About Woodman’s of Essex

Woodman’s of Essex is a seafood restaurant in Essex, Massachusetts, located north of Boston. A local favorite, Woodman’s is also known internationally for its New England clambakes and its signature fried clams. Woodman’s has been a family-owned and operated business since its founding in 1914, and employs a seasonal staff of more than 200.

Community Stuff 1/12/14

Presented by Greenbelt
On Thursday February 20th, Essex County Greenbelt is hosting a film screening
of the award winning docu-comedy Yert: Your Environmental Road Trip. The
screening will take place at 7:30p.m at Gloucester’s Cape Ann Cinema. A short
facilitated discussion will follow the film.
Yert is relevant to conservation issues locally, in Essex County and beyond. The
story concerns 3 friends travelling the continental United States, who meet
several inspirational characters, each doing their part to tackle the environmental
crisis. The trio has certain eco-challenges to meet while travelling, such as
keeping all their trash in the vehicle with them, and a surprise twist that changes
the entire project. The film features environmental leaders including Bill
McKibben, Wes Jackson, Will Allen, Janine Benyus, Joel Salatin, David Orr, and
“This is an interesting and inspirational film, and the screening is also an
opportunity for Greenbelt to raise awareness about the fragile landscapes we are
working to protect in Essex County,” said Greenbelt Executive Director, Ed
The film series is supported in part by the Essex County Ecology Center